Hands-On Experience with the Seiko 5 Sprots x Rowing Blazers Watches.
This set of three Seiko 5 Sports x Rowing Blazers watches is one of the brand's newest for 2021, and it was clearly inspired by the trendy world of the relatively new Rowing Blazers clothing label. Jack Carlson's book inspired the creation of Rowing Blazers, a clothing line that traces its roots back to the blazers worn by British rowers. While the Rowing Blazers clothing and lifestyle brand is known for its signature rowing blazers, it also produces a wide range of brightly coloured pop culture–inspired classic sportswear and other items that, in some ways, are a fashionable fusion of "preppy" and "streetwear" styles.
Some pre-owned vintage watches, including some by Seiko, have been sold on the Rowing Blazers website as part of its lifestyle collection of products. The Seiko 5 references SRPG49 (with a checkered bezel), SRPG51 (with a red zigzag bezel), and SRPG53 are the first "new" watches to be sold on their website (four-way colour block bezel). The first two are 500-piece limited editions, while the third is a special edition that will be made in multiple runs.
After Jack Carlson founded Rowing Blazer in 2014, he reached out to Seiko for help. Several years later, when "collaboration watches" became trendy, Seiko and Rowing Blazers released a unique product to be sold primarily on the Rowing Blazers website (though I understand some Seiko authorised dealers will carry them, as well). Jack Carlson drew inspiration for the look of these watches from a number of sources, including his own personal style and some vintage models from Seiko that he has always admired.
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The modern Seiko 5 Sports watch serves as the inspiration for the Seiko x Rowing Blazers watches. This model measures 42.5mm across, is made of steel, and is equipped with a Seiko-made automatic calibre 4R36 movement. The watch's movement, which can be viewed through a transparent caseback, ticks away at 3Hz and has a 41-hour power reserve. Jack Carlson notes that the skeleton design on the display caseback is a modern take on the traditional memento mori symbols.
From a collector's perspective, it is fascinating to observe the wide visual variety in the Seiko sports watch category of Seiko 5. This is because this is the product family where Japanese Seiko is currently experimenting with collaboration products. Jack Carlson went with a vintage-style lume that is slightly more tan/creamy in colour than the standard greenish-white for the Rowing Blazers Seiko 5 watches. Some collaborative watches are dual-branded, but not all of them are, so the inclusion of the Rowing Blazers logo on the watch dial is an interesting design choice. The watches' aesthetic was conceived by Seiko's Japanese design team in tandem with Rowing Blazers.
Both a steel metal three-link bracelet and a 22mm wide NATO-style nylon strap are included with each Seiko 5 Sports X Rowing Blazers watch. The candy mint green strap that comes with the SPRG49 (checkered dial) and the multicolor striped strap that comes with the SRPG51 are the most eye-catching (zigzag bezel). The SRPG53 features a standard black strap. In addition, the watches are packaged in a distinctive Seiko presentation box that is blue with red zigzags.
The MSRP of the Seiko 5 SPRG49, SRPG51, and SRPG53 watches is $495 USD.
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